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Otherwise Engaged by majamariamaja
Chapter 17 : A Fine Line
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 64


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 magical CI by rockstarkisses @ TDA


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This chapter is dedicated to the inspirational Liza.
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Chapter 17. A Fine Line






Where the devil was my brain?

Once upon a time, that was the vital part that even defined me as a person, and where was it now? Oh, yes, vanished.

Because  if I hadn't lost my brain, and had for the last few days been  brainlessly 'spending time' with Draco Malfoy, then that simply made me  heartless. Right? And I couldn't be heartless, because I don't think  I've ever felt my heart beat more than it had these last days. 

Martin was still oblivious to the fact that I kept seeing a man behind his back. Behind his back. It sounds so serious. Then again, this was serious... 

Even though I continued to 'be friendly' (impressed by all my synonyms for  sex?) with Draco, several times a day in fact, I couldn't bring myself  to tell Martin – because this was just a fling! Just two friends making  each other happy by physically satisfying one another. It was simply  sexual frustration, and the minute after I got married, it would all be  forgotten, and I'd live the rest of my life as if it never happened.

Good plan!

Draco had just Apparated me home, but instead of appearing outside my  building, we were suddenly in one of the many alleys nearby. Well, I won't go into detail, but let's just say that when I walked out ot that alley, I had to rearrange my skirt and pull my top back over my head. With light, happy steps, I walked with a satisfied smile up the stairs and  let myself into the apartment.

«Happy anniversary!»

Martin literally jumped on me, hugging me tightly, and I was so relieved that he couldn't see my face – it definitely had a terrified expression.

«Two  years!» He pulled back only to kiss the cormer of my mouth, too excited to aim, and then he ran over to the kitchen. «I've got something for you, but you're not going to get it yet. It's a surprise.»

Oh, not him too... What was it with these bloody men and their surprises?!

«I've invited your friends Harry, Ginny and that...ehmm.. Ron.» He grinned at  me as he peeked out from behind the kitchen-wall. While doing my best to smile enthusiastically, I was relieved that he was too excited to really get a good look at me.

«Ehm, I just have to go get your present. Be  right back,» I mumbled and quickly went into the bedroom. After closing the door behind me, I leaned my back against it and just breathed for several moments. I heard Martin calling my name from the kitchen, something about what kind of wine that went with filet mignon.

As I made up my mind to not touch any  alcohol, I opened my purse and located my wand. The reason for my soberness? Simple. If I drank in the state I was in right now, I'd definitely end up on the floor, sobbing like a lost child by the end of the night and confessing everything. As I said, simple.

While looking about the room to find something to magically transform into something else, my eyes fell onto my bedside table. I opened the drawer and found the sketch of the tower that Draco had made me. It seemed like such a long time ago... I sweept the room after something else that could become a card. Anything made out of paper, really, even a candy wrapper would do - but couldn't find anything. Tears demanded to be freed from my eyes, but I refused as I flicked my wand at the sheet of paper. Magically, it transformed into a beautifully "hand-made" card. I flicked it again and glimmering, shining letters appeared on the inside of it, ever-glowing with magic. 

Happy Anniversary!
Can't wait to marry you.
Yours,
Hermione


The night was actually over before I knew it, which both surprised and  comforted me. And Martin had been positively ecstatic when I gave him the  card, and marvelled at how I'd managed to make the words gleam like that  - Harry, Ginny and Ron kept their mouths tightly shut. The only thing that made me eerie and uncomfortable was the looks that Ginny kept throwing at me, and even though I pretended not to notice, I failed miserably. Her scrutinizing, brown eyes could just as well have been knives sent on a mission to torture some sort of information out of me, and I'd happily cave in just in order to make it stop. How happy wasn't I when Ginny started complaining about her back bothering her and how she just wanted to go to bed, and yes, it made me feel a tiny bit bad, but I wanted her eyes away from me as fast as possible. 

«Did you have a good time?» Martin touched my shoulder before continuing to help with drying a glass I'd just washed. Oh, how I was tempted to just whip my wand at the stack of dirty dishes, but I didn't. Of course.

«Yes. It was  great.» With a quick smile in his direction, I began washing a casserole. This would all have been done already if I just had the guts to -

«It's times like these you wish that you could just snap your fingers like  Mary Poppins, right?» Martin chuckled, causing me to go stiff. «Wouldn't  that be awesome?»

«Mhm.» I put a lot more force into cleaning now.

«How great it would be to do magic,» he said before adding, «too bad it's not real.»

«Yeah...» I muttered cowardly. «Too bad.»






I  couldn't meet his eyes, and all day I had done my very best to avid him  – pretending to be utterly preoccupied whenever he was near, especially  when he tried to talk to me.

But then, to my great despair, when he just now came strutting into my office and went straight over to me while I pretended to read something important in a random file, he didn't seem to care at all about my busy act. Without hesitation, he pulled me up so that I crashed into his tall, muscular self and kissed me fiercely.

This time, unlike so many others lately, I pulled away from him and wriggled out of his arms. As I sat my bum firmly back on the chair and went back to reading the file, I pretended that the interruption hadn't occoured.

«What was that? Why won't you let me kiss you?»

«It's nothing. I just don't want the others to see.» I turned a page, not granting him a second look. 

«And why can't they see?» he asked, frustrated by my lack of interest in him. «What's so horrible about them knowing about us?»

«Because -»

«Yes, yes, I know. Martin,» he spat out my fiance's name, but I still refused to look up from the file. «I fear that I'm going to have that particular  discussion for the rest of my life, so I'm not going to get into that now. It's just that...» He sighed and I noticed his shoulders dropping  in defeat. «I'm tired of all this sneaking around. Not even Bonnie and  Clyde had to hide as much as we do.»

«Stop being such a drama queen,» I told him and pretended to yawn. 






I was awfully guilt-ridden, but it had to be done. Martin was my fiance. So it was only right. Right?

After the episode between Draco and myself earlier in the day, he didn't try to talk to me anymore, but I still saw how he cast me confused and  unhappy glances whenever we were forced upon each others company. 

Safe to say, I let out a long and exhausted breath when I was swallowed by the mass of people out in the crowded street. But I felt a stabbing  disappointment that he hadn't followed me, demanding me to kiss him.  Which I shouldn't think about, I know.

When I rounded a corner and walked into an empty side-street, I spun around and Disapparated, taking another deep breath as I appeared right in front of the door to my apartment. Looking forward to seeing Martin again was a pleasant feeling, and a most welcome change in the otherwise gloomy mood I'd been in all day. What met me when I entered the apartment, though, wasn't  exactly the same, positive Martin I'd left this morning.

He knew!

I slowly walked over to where he was sitting by the kitchen table, buried  behind a massive stack of papers and books, his brows pulled together in infinite concentration.

«Hi,» I breathed, almost not daring to utter a word. But I had to make sure if he knew or not – my sanity depended on it. 

He always drowned himself in paperwork whenever something bothered him. Like when his father had to get heart surgery – I had found him in this exact state then as well. So there really was a legitimate reason as to why I was only a few seconds away from hyperventilating.

Martin didn't even look up from the papers where he was now highlighting sentences with a yellow magic-marker. His usually calm and soft eyes were now moving at an astounding speed in order to gather as much information as possible in the least amount of time.

«Are you all right -»

«I'm a little busy here, Hermione,» Martin growled at me. He never growled at me. It made me feel so small and insignificant. Air had been punched out of my stomach, and all I could do was nod slowly, pretending that his behaviour hadn't wounded me.

«O-Of course,» I stammered, almost succeeding to keep the treacherous emotion out of my voice.

He hadn't looked up during this 'conversation', which was painful, because he always considered my feelings. 

It didn't seem as though he knew about me, though, or what I'd been up to lately. This, at least, was a strange sort of comfort to me. But the  reaction when I'd tried to speak to him was utterly devastating, and I  had the piercing sensation of missing Draco. I'd always considered Martin as someone who'd never hurt or ignore me like he'd done now, but I was clearly wrong. Draco was now all of a sudden replaced by Martin as the person who'd never deliberately cause me pain. He definitely wouldn't have put his work in front of my feelings.

I needed him, and immediately started counting the hours until I was back in his strong, protective arms.






I basically flew into Draco's office, and a huge smile extended across my  face as I saw him behind his desk. With gleeful excitement I ran to him,  and dropped down on his lap only to take his face in between my hands  and pull him into a sensual kiss.

It took Draco a moment to realise what had happened, and after a few, too short, seconds he carefully removed my hands and lifted me off his knees. Bewildered, I stared at him, the sweet taste of his lips still lingering on my own. I was speechless, but came to the logical conclution that maybe he just wanted to get up so that he could deepen the kiss. With a seductive smile I walked over to him, but he stopped me by holding his hand out in front of him – a signal for me to keep my distance.

«Draco, I -»

«All right,» he interrupted and retracted his hand only to run his fingers through his light hair. «What's going on here?»

«What do you mean? I just felt like kissing you.»

«After ignoring me all day yesterday?»

«I-I didn't ignore y-»

«Yes, you did. You know you did.» Actually I did know  that. «And now you're all over me, kissing me again. Brownie...» He let out a sigh that seemed like it came from the deepest part of his soul, and I noticed guilt and sadness were racing each other in the depth of his diamond-eyes. 

In the back of my mind I remebered him telling me about how Pansy had deceived him, and he probably hated being in this same position, only this time he was the other man. But I quickly pushed those thoughts away, and reasoned with myself that this situation was completely different from that one.

«I think it's time we talk about what this all means.»

«What are you on about? It was just a kiss.» I wouldn't give in to this  without a fight, and he was apparently prepared that reaction.

«It's more than that, and you know it.» 

His calm attitude annoyed me.

«Have you got anything against kissing me? Because you sure didn't mind -»

«Yes. I do.»

«What? Why?» I breathed, the air slowly slipping out of my body. Why did he have to be so brutally honest?

«Because you're marrying another man. Because I know you better than said man. And most importantly because I'm deeply and irreversably in love with you.» 

I gasped as I looked into his eyes and realised that he was telling the truth. He really was in love with me. It wasn't a friendly sort of love, it was the real thing – like how a man loves a woman. But how could that be?!

«I've tried to tell you and show you several times, but you don't seem to underst-»

«I-I thought tha-that, ehm, that we were just good friends?» I stammered and gulped simultaneously.

«Just  friends? Really, Brownie?» He drew a breath to calm himself, but didn't necessarily succeed. «Friends don't have sex, and certainly don't  declare their love for each other! They just don't do that!»

«Let me refresh your memory, I haven't declared anything at all!» I protested. «I may have felt some strange sexual attraction to you, but I've only ever seen you as a very good fr-»

«Do not say 'friend' one more time, or so help me, I will throw a tantrum that'll make a pissed off Blast-Ended Skrewt look like a cuddly teddy bear!»

«Where in the devil is all this coming from, Draco?!» I was equally angry now, and fit for fight. «I thought we both agreed to just be -» I coughed  dramatically as I rolled my eyes, «- be you-know-what.»

«It's coming from the place that I've been hiding from you ever since our  alleged 'friendship' got more serious, because I didn't want to seem  demanding or to scare you away, but I'm sick of pretending. I've told  you several times that I love you and I meant that. Every sodding time.»

«Yes, you've said that to me, but how could you mean it? We hate each other -»

«Are you really that daft, Granger?!»

«Don't be rude, Malfoy! I will slap you silly!» My eyes shot daggers at him, and he knew I'd do it. He'd experienced my anger first hand before.

«I'm sorry, but I'm just so mad I could scream! I've said time and time  again that I love you, and you still stand there accusing me of hating  you!»

Draco clenched his jaw, and I sensed that he wasn't finished talking. Neither was I for that matter, but I couldn't bring myself to say anything now that his eyes were shimmering as they filled with tears. But that couldn't be...

«I can't do this anymore,» he choked out, lowering his gaze to the floor.

«Do what exactly?» I whispered back unwillingly.

«Be both your friend and your boyfriend.» He looked up, and I definitely  saw his eyes filled to the brim with tears. And it made me speechless,  making my brain race to make sense of what he was saying.

I certainly hadn't acted as though he was my boyfriend, right? The idea  was absurd and freakishly inaccurate. Our sexual encounters had just  been two friends satisfying their thirst for a completely natural need. I  was probably just sexually frustrated, or something like that, and sought comfort in a good friend. Even the sight of Draco's red-rimmed eyes didn't distract me from denying this foul accusation – I was sure in my cause.

«What?» I now spat out. «Why are you accusing me of -»

«Hermione,» he interrupted, and I swallowed hard as I saw how he was battling his emotions. I had to try my best to focus about how mad I was at him, and told myself that it was impossible that he was standing there, ache painted across his face. I seriously had my suspicions that I was  dreaming. 

«This is me telling you that you have to decide which of them you want me to be. I can't be both. If you want me to only be your friend, then that's what I'll be -»

«But that's all we are, Draco. Friends,» I said firmly, standing my ground. But when I saw how he bit his lip to refrain from it quivering with emotion, I desperately wanted to take it back.

«Well, when you start acting like it, then maybe my heart will believe it and move on,» he told me with a voice that clearly showed what he was feeling.

«Draco -»

«But until then, I'm not going to be around.» And with these last, heart-breaking words, he walked out of his office, and left a bewildered me in the middle of the room with thoughts I refused to think.






How I survived the next week is beyond me. It was during this week that I fully realised how much I'd gotten used to the annoying, blue-eyed,  ferret that was Draco. Every time we passed each other in the hall or  were seated opposite each other at a meeting, I couldn't keep my eyes to  myself. What I did was stare and try to soak up as much of him as  possible. It didn't seem like he was in the same distressing situation,  though, and that annoyed me into being more determined than ever to not be the first to break our competative silence. 

It was a long time since he had been ignoring me like this, and I didn't particularly care for it. Especially since, like the last time, he granted everybody else all of his attention – myself excluded, of course. And if I thought he had been flirty before, then I had been sorely mistaken.

He and Annie-The-Intern had gotten more and more friendly as the days passed, and I scowled at them whenever I saw them together. Without a care in his mind, he flirted with her, grazed her hand with his own and made her laugh. And what a stupid laugh it was.

Annie-The-Intern had the irksome tendency to flip her long, wavy, red hair every moment she felt it to be necessary. Little did she know that it wasn't necessary at all. We all knew she was pretty and had beautiful hair, bla, bla, bla – and she didn't exactly hide the fact that she was completely aware of this. Which made her even more disgusting in my eyes.

This had been going on for a week now, and I was currently residing in a comfortable chair with the receptionists and assistents. With a loud snort, I deliberately swung my chair around and mocked Annie-The-Intern's stupid laugh.

«Dear, are you okay?» Leyla put her wrinkled hand on my thigh, and I quickly nodded. Obviously, she didn't buy that as an answer and continued to stare at me.

«She doesn't look too good,» Caroline told the other ladies as if I wasn't right in front of her, just an object to discuss. I wanted to argue, insist that she needed new glasses, but Leyla cut me off as I opened my mouth.

«Here, have a  cookie.» She handed me a chocolate chip cookie, but I shook my head. That redheaded tramp had made me nauseous, and even the smell of the cookie made me grimace.

«Why so gloomy?» Linda had always been straightforward, something I'd always loved about her. I didn't really care for it right now, though.

«It's nothing,» I grumbled and spun the chair around again so that they couldn't see me, but Linda quickly swung it back.

«You're mad that Annie has got her claws all over your man, aren't you?» Caroline asked, staring.

Breath left my body, and I couldn't speak. I tried to shake my head, but I don't think I really moved at all.

«We know you have an affair with Mr Gorgeous-Arse, Hermione.» Caroline leaned against the back of the chair, smug. The three ladies were staring at me, waiting for a reaction.

«Wha-What?!» I struggled with acting innocent, but tried my best to keep on with the charade. «Bu-But that's completely, completely, absurd!»

«And yet,» Caroline lowered her glasses and bore her golden eyes into mine, «you've snogged him, and God knows what else, in every room of this building.»

«Ca-ro-line!» Leyla exclaimed, dividing Caroline's name into three syllables, and blushed while doing it. She would never get used to Caroline's 'foul language', as she called it. «You're abusing the name of our lord!» She pushed away a grey strand of hair before whispering, «Why do you always have to be so crude?»

«Why do you have to be such a prude

«I am not a pr-»

«Ladies, ladies,» Linda cut in and destroyed my hopes of the older ladies  forgetting what they were initially talking about. «We're getting side-tracked.»

«Oh, yes.» Leyla sent Caroline a reprimanding look before turning to face me. «Well, Hermione, we know you've been seeing -»  another glance at Caroline, «- an awful lot of this young man. And we  may be old, my dear, but we can surely put two and two together.»

«Maybe you're old,  but I'm certainly not,» Caroline murmured under her breath and fiddled with all the rings on her fingers. She may have been in her fifties, but she did everything she could to not look it. In other words, she was Leyla's total opposite when it came to this. That sweet 60-year old woman let her hair become all the different shades of grey and white and wore it proudly. Something that would have given Caroline a heart attack.

«Nevertheless,» Linda rolled her eyes, sick and tired of listening to Caroline's neverending rantings about how she was still an 'attractive, young woman in her sexual prime', this of course always made Leyla's cheeks turn bright red. «We know, and I don't think there's even one person in this building who does not know, so you can save the lies for another time and just fess up.»

«I don't know what you're talking about.» Deny, deny, deny. That's what all the politicians do, right?

«Okay, then what about a test?» Caroline smiled daringly at me, and I couldn't help but feel curious as to what she was going to suggest. «If you prove us wrong then we'll admit defeat and back off, but if not then you have to tell us intimate details about his thi-»

«Caroline Carter!» Leyla was inches away from having a fit. «That's enough out of you!»

«What?» Caroline threw her bejewelled hands in the air. «As if you're not as bloody curious as I am!»

«It may come as a surprise to you, my dear, but not everyone's like you,» Leyla hissed and turned to answer the phone behind her that had began ringing.

«I don't want to get into this now, so just let it go, alright?» Linda told Caroline as it looked like she was about to retort with even more fury.

«Fine,» she spat. For a few seconds I found myself smiling at the humorous situation, and this seemed to change Caroline's mood. «About that test..-»

«I'm not doing any test,» I said firmly.

«Why not?»

«Because.»

«Because of what?» Linda furrowed her brows.

«Just because.»

«Why can't you just say why you won't do this test?»

«Because I don't answer stupid questions.»

«Hah!» Caroline exclaimed and pointed a glittering finger at me while grinning. «You just failed the test!»

«This is so immature,» I growled and got to my feet, feeling slightly dizzy  as I raised myself a little too quickly. «I'm leaving. I have more  important things to do than to be interrogated by you lot.»

«Just so you know,» Caroline called after me when I was walking away, «you failed again!»
 
I had to walk past Draco and little miss intern to get to the elevator that lead to my floor, and saw how plainly she was flirting with him. As if I was being posessed by something greater than myself, I «accidentally» knocked over a vase of flowers on her desk(undoubtedly from Draco himself) so that the greenish water spilled all over her snug, white attire.

While screaming bloody murder, Annie-The-Intern jumped up from her chair and ran to the loo whilst crying. As this whole scene unfolded in front of me, I couldn't keep the evil grin off my face, delighted about the fact that I'd made her cry.

«What the hell, Brownie?!» 

Oh, yeah, Draco was still here.

I now just realised what childish act I'd just done, and immediately began walking briskly away from the scene of the crime. 

«Hey!» Draco ran after me and grabbed my arm in order for me to stop, but I ripped away from him and quickened my pace. After pressing the  'up'-button on the elevator, I fiddled with my fingers, preparing myself  for a sound lashing from Draco.

«You did that on purpose!» he stated, forcing me to turn around with a tight hold on my shoulder. «I saw you, so don't try and deny it.»

«I don't know what you're talking about.» I stared right through his chest, not giving myself the opportunity to get lost in his eyes.

«This is one thing you can't deny yourself out of, Granger, so spare your lies for someone who doesn't know your lying face.»

I didn't answer him but insted turned around just enough to impatiently  press the 'up'-button repeatedly, my finger almost vibrating against it.

«You're not going to answer me?» This question was hissed into my ear, making the hairs on my body rise. «You're really going to act this childishly?»

Hallelujah!  The elevator doors opened with a musical 'pling', and I rushed into the confined space, Draco's hand still glued to my shoulder.

«Let go of me!» I growled and tried to shake him off, but he only tightened his grip further, pressing the third-floor button for me. «I said -»

«I heard you.»

«Then let go!» 

«No.»  With a determined glare in my direction, the snappy comment on my tongue quickly vanished. «We're going to have a talk, and I'm not  letting you run away from me this time. Actually,» with a single swift  movement, he reached into my pocket and retrieved my wand, «I better  hold onto this.»

«That's theft!» I hissed and stretched my arm out to take it back but he held it too far away from me. Why the hell did he have to have such long arms?! «Give it back, you tosspot!»

«Absolutely not.» 

The doors slid apart again, and he dragged me into the hall only to push me toward my office. Bernard, the teenage mailman, looked wide-eyed at us as we passed him, and Draco gave him a reassuring nod.

«Hey, Bernie.» 

«H-Hi Mr Malfoy,» Bernard answered weakly, standing perfectly still with his mouth open.

After opening the door that lead to my corner-office, Draco shoved me through it and smacked it shut.

«Now,» he began while magically locking the door and soundproofing the room, «explain yourself.»

«You've got a lot of nerve dragging me -»

«Shut up.»

«Pa-Pardon?» I stuttered, looking at him with bulging eyes. He'd never talked to me like that before.

«I am sick and tired of you always avoiding my questions. So tired, in fact, that I'm this -» he lifted his hand and put his index finger and thumb  very closely together, «- close to actually forcing Vertiasetum down your bloody throat.»

My mouth was dry and I had no chance of speaking. I was, literally, speechless. 

Well, there's a first time for everything.

«If you don't, for once, tell me what the hell you're doing, then I'm not  going to be responsible for my actions. I might very well get violent,  because you have driven me to my wits end. Something nobody has ever managed to do before.»

Tears were pressing against my eyelids, because apparently during Draco's speech, I had closed my eyes.

«And this time your tears won't stop me from squeezing an answer out of you.»

I drew a stabilizing breath and turned around so that he wouldn't see how my eyes were swimming with unshed tears.

«Tell me,» he said, his voice calm now. «Why did you knock over that vase?»

«It was an accident -»

«Bloody hell, Granger!» I heard how he was pacing back and forth, his steps angrily ricocheting of the walls. «That's a load of shit! Don't insult  my intelligence by lying to me now, after all that's happened between us. I deserve at least some shred of truth.»

«How dare you?» I whispered, my back still turned against him. «You make it sound like I've only been lying to you, when nothing could be further from the truth!» With this I spun around and glared at him. «It's you that have been parading around me, flirting with women, trying to get m e-»

«Jealous?» He seemed baffled. «Is that what all this is? Jealousy?»

«Absolutely no-»

«No, it makes sense, actually. But what doesn't make sense is how you're still not admitting the truth to yourself.»

«What? That I'm actually in love with you?! I've told you time and time again, Malfoy, that I only see you as a friend!»

«And I've told you that that's a load of crap!» he panted, staring back at me with those fiery eyes. «And what kills me is that you actually know it, but you can't get yourself to open your bloody mind enough to see past your commitment to Martin. A commitment that's completely lacking any sort of love, but you still won't -» 

«It's not lacking in love!»

«Of course it is. You don't even know how love feels like, Granger, something that makes me actually pity you.»

«I don't need your pity.» My heart was beating so fast that I was having  trouble breathing. «And you're the jealous one, Draco. You're jealous  and angry at me for not leaving Martin and run off with you into the  sunset, but you of all people should know why I can't do that. I made a  promise to Martin, just like Pansy made a promise to you. Actually, I  can't see how you could even bring yourself to repeat exactly the same  thing that Pansy did to you. You of all people should understand my  choice to stay with Martin.»

«Wow,» Draco's whisper was choked out between his quivering lips. «I can't believe you're using that against me.»

«Well, it's true, isn't it?» My own voice was shaking, and I was already  bombarded with regret for saying those words. I didn't actually mean  what I'd said, and wished so desperately to take it back. But I was too  proud. And pride is a fickle thing.

«Yes.» The hoarse mutter was trying to conceal his hurt, but I knew him to well to fall for this charade. He was in physical pain. «And you can't even comprehend the guilt I've been feeling constantly because of this. Because I know how it feels to be the one who is left behind.»

I drew a long, shaky breath and resisted the urge to run to him and wrap my arms around his body.

«You know what?» Draco now looked straight through my eyes and deep into my soul, shredding it to pieces with the overwhelmingly miserable look in his own. «I am jealous of Martin. But I also feel sorry for him. Because even though he doesn't know it, he's never going to make you forget about me. And one day you'll realise what you chose to ignore, and  you'll spend the rest of your days regretting it.» His words cut me, and I was actually feeling the blood seeping out of the wounds. «No matter  how hard he tries, he won't be able to erase those feelings, and that will eventually make you both miserable.»

«That isn't true,» I said mostly to myself.

«Then I won't bother you anymore.» After one last look, he ripped his eyes away from me, dropped my wand to the floor, swifly opened the door out of my office and started leaving.

«Where are you going?»

«Away from you.»

«But I don't want you to leave,» I choked out, and I didn't realise how I  was actually begging him to stay until I heard my words out loud.

Draco didn't look at me, but stood perfectly still. Then, after I noticed him drawing a deep breath, he walked out into the corridor.

My whole being was ripped out of my body, leaving the flesh under my skin exposed to my unfriendly salted tears, aching their way into the deep of my soul.

I didn't realise that I'd run after him until I was out into the busy streets, searching the sea of people for a blond, muscular man. He was nowhere in sight, and a sob caught in my throat as I realised that I may have seen him for the last time. This thought was what ultimately made me realise how much I needed him.

Then suddenly, out of thin air, it hit me. I hadn't realised it because it  hadn't felt like falling, there was never a sensation of cutting through air. It was more like I had repeatedly kept on tripping on my own failing logic, and always managed to scrape my knees. Nevertheless, it was true. And it was shocking on a whole different level than I'd ever experienced before.

«Oh, my God,» I choked out, actually smiling and shedding tears of joy. Several people slowed down and turned their necks to see what was going on with the crying lady in the middle of the street.

«I love him.» My throat was suddenly dry, so I had to whisper. «I love Draco Malfoy.»

Then, as if some higher power was cheering me on, I caught a glimpse of a blond head towering over most of the other heads. With a newfound  determination, I gleefully pushed my way through masses of men and women letting out surprised yelps as I stepped on their toes or pulled on their coats.

«Draco!» I called out and noticed how the blond head twitched in my direction, but didn't turn around. It didn't matter though, I'd caught a glimpse of a small portion of his face and it was all I needed to see to validate my suspicions. It was him.

«Draco Malfoy!» I called out again, and basically ran toward him now. «I need to talk to you!» 

And he was there. Walking briskly away from me, but I knew he'd heard how I was calling out to him.

«Would you please slow down?» I sprinted the last few feet that was separating us, but still had trouble keeping up with his long strides. «I need to tell you something importan-»

«I've heard everything I needed to hear from you, Hermione.»

«I really wish you'd listen -»

«What more could you possibly have to say after that whole spiel about me repeating the same, horrible pattern that Pansy did to me? I don't see what more you could possibly have to tell me after this statement, and I'd prefer that you keep your lectures to yourself from now on. Because I don't have the strenght to hear any more of- »

«Draco! Would you shut up?!» I was getting out of breath and grabbed his arm in order for him to stop, and he did. A smile spread across my face and he looked tired and confused back at me, but I was too ecstatic to register that.

«What is it? I have to admit that I'm curious as to what more you could say to make me -»

«You were right.»

I smiled even more before continuing in a whisper full of emotion, «I love you, Draco.»

 

----

A/N:


There you go. She's finally realised her true feelings for Draco. So what do you think? :)


Thanks for being the most amazing readers in the world, btw ^^


All my love,
*Maria


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